PHINMA Energy eyes 45-megawatt solar plant in Batangas

POWER MERCHANTS. PHINMA Energy executives discuss 2016 results and future plans at the company's annual stockholders' meeting on April 10, 2017. File photo by Chris Schnabel/Rappler

POWER MERCHANTS. PHINMA Energy executives discuss 2016 results and future plans at the company's annual stockholders' meeting on April 10, 2017.

File photo by Chris Schnabel/Rappler

MANILA, Philippines – PHINMA Energy announced plans to boost its renewable energy portfolio by building a solar energy plant in Batangas.

In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) on Wednesday, September 13, the firm said it has "entered into a solar service contract with the Department of Energy (DOE) which grants it the exclusive right to explore, develop, and utilize the solar energy resource in a 486-hectare area in the city of Lipa and municipality of Padre Garcia" in Batangas province.

PHINMA Energy added that it hopes to construct a 45-megawatt (MW) solar plant in the service contract area.

Should it be successful in developing the plant, it added, the term of the service contract would be for 25 years, and may be extended by another 25.

PHINMA Energy directors indicated earlier this year that the company would be concentrating on adding to its renewable energy portfolio in lieu of coal power, especially with the government's new incentive program, the Renewable Portfolio Standard, on the horizon.

Trans-Asia Renewable Energy Corporation, the firm's renewable energy arm, currently operates a 54-MW wind power farm in San Lorenzo, Guimaras, which it previously indicated that it plans to expand should the DOE decide to reinstate the wind feed-in tariff.

The service contract with the DOE comes as PHINMA Energy is also preparing for a legal battle with state-owned Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management (PSALM) Corporation over a 2013 contract to operate a geothermal plant in Leyte.

In a separate disclosure also on Wednesday, PHINMA Energy said the case against PSALM "has no material adverse effect" on its operations.

It explained that it is seeking a temporary restraining order (TRO) to restrain PSALM from terminating their agreement on the ground of administrator's default and to prevent PSALM from asserting any further claim to the detriment of PHINMA Energy.

"In the event that the court rules in favor of PHINMA Energy, the agreement may be invalidated and an award for damages may be made to the corporation," explained PHINMA, while "an adverse decision may open the company to possible financial claims by PSALM." – Rappler.com